Article by: Zeshan Muhammedi
Social media is not a revolutionary space. Social media is marketing – good ol’ traditional marketing. It should be approached as a way of discovering new and efficient tools to execute and reach traditional business goals. Think of it as upgrading from navigational maps to GPS systems – the digital tool will undoubtedly help get you to your goal faster.
And irrespective of industry, every business (B2B or B2C) has marketing goals. In the B2B sales space, social media tools need to be synonymous with traditional lead generation tools, proactive relationship management, and mobile collaboration. For example, businesses are using LinkedIn company pages as an outlet for content dissemination (or a billboard for your company).
There’s no doubt that social is important in the B2C space. According to a Mass Relevance survey, 60% of respondents said they are more likely to trust or share content from companies that have a well-known social media presence – and two-thirds of those consumers said they have made a purchase based off of social media content. “This study proves that people want to engage with a ‘social brand’ and shows how brands can begin to build social experiences that drive interaction and sales,” says Mass Relevance CEO Sam Decker.
For B2B companies, social media is more than just lead generation. It’s about content distribution and relationship management. The opportunity for a firm to establish itself as a thought leader – as well as to engage with other thought leaders – in relevant industry topics is crucial to distinguishing itself in the marketplace. The Earnest Agency discovered that “B2B buyers are most likely to share useful vendor content via email (79%), followed by LinkedIn (53%), Twitter (39%) and Facebook (18%).” This means killing two birds with one stone – not only are your clients engaging with you more (relationship management), but they are marketing your business by sharing your insights (content distribution).
In 2013, we’ll be rolling out a content series at Symmetrics Group that integrates social media strategy with sales strategy. To catchup on the conversation, check out these top 10 articles on B2B social media from 2012. We look forward to discussing our thoughts with you soon!